For years clients and friends have extolled about the culinary delights of the legendary Chez L’Ami Jean, a bistro in the 7th arr. It’s always on people’s must eat list and one of those places I’ve been meaning to get to for sometime but never did for some inexplicable reason.
An old friend of mine I lost touch with for many years from New York who now lives in Los Angeles contacted me a few weeks ago saying she was going to be in Paris for a week and would love to see me. She is a big foodie and had formal training as a chef, spending a year in Paris going to cooking school and apprenticing at a restaurant.
She invited me for lunch to Chez L’Amis Jean, and I was excited to finally see what all the hype was about.
I hadn’t seen my friend in almost 30 years and it took me a moment to recognize her in the crowded restaurant. We hugged each other for a long moment and she looked great. She was with her two grown children and we filled each other in on how we spent our last 30 years as much as we could.
The cuisine at Chez L’Ami Jean is Basque and the rustic interior is dark with wooden booths, burgundy leather banquettes, and humorous cartoon figures of pigs and other animals and graffiti on the walls. The book-like menu with wooden binder also with the humorous illiustrations had a ton of specials in addition to the full menu.
I went for the 42 euro three-course formule. My starter was roasted white asparagus with bacon and I liked that there were big pieces of bacon, not paltry bacon bits. My friend is a vegetarian and she ordered sautéed mushrooms with fresh herbs, which was excellent.
My plat was roasted chicken with red peppercorns, zucchini flowers, and vegetables cooked in the pan juices. The chicken was moist and juicy and I lapped up the vegetables in the juices. The side was a decadent, don’t even think of how many calories and butter there is potato puree. My friend’s children split the house special, a gargantuan side of beef, which looked incredible. The portions were huge and we were mighty stuffed but I was the only one who saved just enough room for dessert, a lovely and refreshing fraisier, a combination of light cream and sweet summer strawberries with a dab of strawberry sorbet, a fitting finish to my hearty meal.
The service was informal and the staff accommodating and attentive. I watched chef Stephane Jego with wonder as he worked his magic in the kitchen, turning out all those delicious plates.
Chez L’Ami Jean lived up to its hype with fantastic food and atmosphere and being with my old friend made it even more of special experience.
27 rue Malar, 75007
Metro: Invalides or La Tour Maubourg
Open 12-2:30PM for lunch, 7PM to 12AM, dinner
Reservations are a must: +33 (0) 147 058689
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.